BAKERSFIELD, CA - S. 22, an omnibus public lands bill approved by the Senate January 15, 2009 has now moved to the House of Representatives. This bill would designate over 2 million acres of public lands as wilderness, the most restrictive land use designation available. All forms of motorized and mechanized recreation are prohibited in wilderness areas. In a time when our economy is seeing a dramatic slow down it makes no sense to eliminate one of the few income makers in some of the rural communities effected by this bill, OHV recreation.
We recognize the need for wilderness in the appropriate areas and with the proper local input so that trails and areas of high recreation value are cherry stemmed or excluded totally from this type of designation. It is not good public policy for congress to push a 1200 page piece of legislation through without giving people the proper time to digest and understand it, as they are attempting to do with this bill.
A recent addition to this bill is the codification of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The NLCS would, in our opinion, create an additional and undue level of bureaucracy for the national system of public lands.
ORBA urges its members and anyone who enjoys motorized recreation on public lands to contact their representative and ask them to oppose S.22. If you are not sure who your U.S. Representative is go to the following link to find out: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml